Reports: Barcelona favorites to land De Ligt which propels Juventus to negotiate for Blaugrana defender instead
What's the story?
Barcelona are in pole position to sign Ajax Prodigy Matthijs De Ligt despite a tough battle from Juventus.
If reports are to be believed, the Serie A giants are not interested to enter into a bidding war with the Catalan giants, which is why Juventus will try to secure Samuel Umtiti.
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The 19-year-old Dutch centre-back has proved his potential for both Ajax and Netherlands this season against toughest of opponents like Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, and Germany. De Ligt is a product of famed Ajax academy and the fact that he is leading the Dutch side at such a young age, portrays his ability.
It is an open secret that both Barcelona and Juventus were interested to secure De Ligt but Ajax boss recently revealed the clubs who can persuade Ajax captain.
“There is zero chance that De Ligt will continue at Ajax. There are too many clubs interested in him. He will leave us this summer, but I don't know if he will go to Bayern or Barcelona,” Ten Hag told German daily Süddeutsche according to AS.
On the other hand, Samuel Umtiti missed numerous months in the current campaign and has found himself below down the pecking order after Lenglet's superb performance at Blaugrana rearguard.
The heart of the matter
It seems quite clear that Barcelona will win the race for Ajax's De Ligt. After having already secured De Ligt's teammate Frenkie De Jong, Blaugrana hierarchy negotiated faster and the player's choice seems to be similar to De Jong's.
According to the report, the failure to be ahead in the race for De Ligt propelled Juventus to pursuit another center-back and Barcelona's Samuel Umtiti is at the top of their shortlist. Also, Barcelona are willing to listen to offers for Umtiti if Juventus gives them a free run at De Ligt.
Veteran Juventus defender Barzagli announced that he will retire at the end of the current campaign and the Catalan giants already have a plethora of center-backs. The French defender would cost around €80 million.
Rumor rating: 6/10
AS remains a reliable source but the deal depends on Barcelona signing De Ligt
Barcelona will host Manchester United while Juventus host Ajax in the Champions League quarterfinals second leg.